Senior Olympics was worth Sun's attentionI was surprised...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

October 25, 1997

Senior Olympics was worth Sun's attention

I was surprised and disappointed that The Sun gave zero coverage to the recent 18th Annual Maryland Senior Olympics. I understand that nearly 1,700 competitors from nearly every county in the state participated in a wide variety of sports, from archery to volleyball.

I was impressed by how well-organized the event was and by the ferocity of the competitors. In the age 65-to-70 category for basketball foul and floor shooting, I was run off the court in foul shooting, but I managed a fifth-place ribbon for floor shooting. It was great fun, and certainly worthy of coverage.

Howard K. Ottenstein

Baltimore

Imhoff's Conservation Corps article commended

Commendations to Ernest Imhoff for his very informative Oct. 8 article on the Depression-born Civilian Conservation Corps.

It was a welcome bit of nostalgia, taking me back to the 1930s when for about a year I was a part-time instructor and assistant athletic director at the Fort Frederick CCC camp in Washington County.

The corps' work in landscaping the Skyline Drive was of interstate significance. Other local projects are a lasting tribute to the CCC program.

The crumbling Fort Frederick, now a state park, was restored by a contingent stationed there to its pre-Revolutionary War state. Another group of young men commuted to the decaying George Washington Monument near Boonsboro for a similar restoration project. In the process they learned skills that served them well in civilian life, as Mr. Imhoff notes.

Not all the youngsters could adjust to the regimen. Each month witnessed one or two defectors. Even so, the CCC program was a remarkable success in boosting morale and establishing beneficial work habits for millions of Americas youth.

Abner Kaplan

Baltimore

Sauerbrey's fans need a sense of humor

This letter is in response to the letter concerning Ellen R. Sauerbrey's teeth (''Leave Ellen Sauerbrey's teeth alone,'' Oct. 14).

I found the cartoon very entertaining, as I find most of KAL's cartoons. It was obvious to me that it was about the trouble Gov. Parris N. Glendening was facing in order to find a politically viable solution to the serious Pfiesteria problem. The reason KAL even has Ms. Sauerbrey in the cartoon is her comment (with her big mouth with the prominent teeth) that the governor was somehow mishandling the situation.

As for the comparison of KAL's work with that of Nazi Germany, I found it downright insulting. I think Ms. Sauerbrey's constituents need to develop a sense of humor. It's not as if we didn't know what kind of person we were dealing with in Ellen.

I mean, she's the one who played ''Ding dong, the witch is dead'' when she won the Republican primary over Helen Delich Bentley. As for her capacity for governance, I sincerely hope we never find out.

Keep up the great work, KAL, you've got a lot of fans out here.

Richard T. Bustard

Reisterstown

Maryland isn't Oregon, and Smart Growth isn't no growth or slow growth

Frieda Campbell's Oct. 13 article about Gov. Parris N. Glendening's Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation initiative mischaracterized major elements of the program as well as the motivation for its introduction and passage. The piece was written without the benefit of talking with members of the administration, the General Assembly, or the general public who were instrumental in formulating this landmark, nationally acclaimed program.

The article completely ignores the development and population trends in Maryland that prompted Governor Glendening to propose the Smart Growth program and it unfairly compares the Maryland plan to a Portland, Oregon, program that is rooted in different political, geographic and administrative structures.

Maryland's ''Smart Growth'' program has three straightforward goals:

To save our most valuable remaining natural resources before they are forever lost;

To target development to existing towns and cities and to other areas where the infrastructure is already in place (or planned) to support it; and

To save taxpayers millions of dollars in the unnecessary cost of building the infrastructure required to support sprawl.

The program was not, is not and was never intended to be ''a top-down zoning scheme,'' as Ms. Campbell called it. In fact, one key reason for its success is that, from the outset, the governor insisted that local government authority for land use decision-making be preserved. The legislation simply proclaims the state's rightful interest in how those land use decisions are made. It sets forth the state policy that taxpayers' dollars should not be spent in support of development that might damage the environment or promote costly sprawl development.

Contrary to Ms. Campbell's article, Governor Glendening's Smart Growth program is not a ''no growth'' program, or even a ''slow growth'' program. It encourages and embraces development and economic expansion, but only where it makes the most sense and where the infrastructure is in place (or planned) to support it.

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